|I am past the preschool stage of life with my three precious children. This is sad, but oh so good! To watch them grow and thrive is a joy! I believe that a strong foundation of fundamental skills truly has helped them to adapt, grow, and ultimately love learning!
I have wonderful plans in the works to make those early years of preschool (before formal instruction or curriculum, whether in school or homeschooled) as EASY as possible!
Tot School and Preschool time at home — ages 3-5 years old – can be FUN and SIMPLE!
|Let’s take a look at some easy ideas you can begin to implement today! I believe that many children are asked to write with utensils far too soon. Their little hands (and bones) are not ready to focus on little letters! They need time to become familiar with letters (and sounds!) before they ever begin tracing letters. They need time to hold various writing utensils to figure out pencil grip and connection to paper or a flat surface.
A sand (or salt or sugar) tray is perfect for this! They can make designs and squiggles with the tray. You can make something and you can see if they can try to copy you! This is a great first step in learning handwriting.
These Lowercase Letter Formation sheets below are perfect! Your child can trace their finger in the direction of making the letter. This allows them to get familiar with making letters, without the pressure of holding a pencil (pen control) or following a small line to trace (visual awareness). These skills take time to learn! They also require time for your child to grow cognitively and physically!
Please enjoy these beautiful printables for lowercase letter formation. You can put them in dry erase sleeves and try them with (thick) dry erase markers when your child is ready to begin writing!
Click here or the picture below!
|Please hear me, your child is not behind if they are not reading or writing by age 6! This is normal and good. Too much pressure too soon will cause frustration and could stifle their desire and excitement to learn! We also love sandpaper letter cards for letter recognition and practice. Show your child how to form the letter using their finger.
Which letters to choose learning first?
Case for Uppercase: Uppercase letters are much more distinguishable from one another. Your child can have quicker success looking at the differences in the straight lines and curves of the uppercase letters than the lowercase.
Case for Lowercase: In the future, when reading, most of the letters your child will see will be lowercase letters. (You can call them little letters too! Some people call them baby letters!) For this reason, many teach lowercase first.
-I don’t advocate for formal instruction of reading until at least age 6, unless they are begging to learn and are learning without frustration!
-We teach uppercase letters first (see Early Literacy Stages), but Montessori philosophy advocates for teaching lowercase letters first. Whichever you choose, just start! You won’t be “wrong” either way!
Your child will have fun with these low pressure activities!
Remember that it is the process that counts, not the outcome!
Enjoy your time together!
I always advocate for a lower-pressure preschool!
|Children need to be read to and have exposure to many books.
Children need time outdoors in nature (or exploring things about nature — we are staying in on these below zero days!)
Children need time to sensorially explore the world around them (through baking, sensory bins, or Playdough, water, shaving cream, beans, oatmeal!). We love the practical life activities from Montessori!
Children need play! Play is not just an enjoyable pastime for children; it is a fundamental aspect of their cognitive, social, emotional, and physical development. Through play, children learn to explore the world around them, develop problem-solving skills, enhance creativity, and build social connections. It serves as a natural and effective way for young minds to grasp complex concepts and develop a love for learning. We love these new puzzle sticks!
Children need you!
I get teary-eyed, writing about preschool days. My youngest is now 7! But she still needs those things! It can really be quite simple, we don’t need to overcomplicate it, or think they need so much!
More to come!